With the official start of fall practices only days away, the Ohio High School Athletic Association provided an update on Tuesday night.
OHSAA Interim Executive Director Bob Goldring set an update to member schools’ principals and superintendents as to where the sports season stands.
While non-contact sports of golf, girls tennis and volleyball are able to perform scrimmages against other schools, contact sports have not yet received permission from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office.
The OHSAA announced in the memo that preseason scrimmages for the contact sports of football, soccer and field hockey are suspended.
The memo states that, “We do not anticipate that suspension changing soon and there remains the possibility that no scrimmages will be permitted in the contact sports of football, soccer and field hockey.”
Football teams previously were allowed to hold scrimmages from Aug. 8 through Aug. 22. Either two scrimmages or one scrimmage and one preview and one Jamboree were permitted.
Soccer was previously allowed four scrimmages plus a preview after practice began on Aug. 1.
The OHSAA put out a memo last Friday that these scrimmages could occur, but teams had to meet the Ohio Health Director’s order for COVID-19 testing protocols to take place.
While there will likely be no soccer or football scrimmages next month, the OHSAA still fully plans on having fall sports, and official practices are set to begin on Saturday.
The update was also clear in stating that the OHSAA is in conversations with Gov. DeWine’s office when it comes to a plan for sports in the fall.
Gov. DeWine didn’t announce any guidelines one way or another for high school sports during his Tuesday press conference, saying that everyone is still waiting to see where the COVID-19 virus goes in the coming weeks.
High school soccer matches can begin on Aug. 21, while the first week for football games are Friday, Aug. 28 and Saturday, Aug. 29.
Assuming football season is ultimately allowed to kickoff, coaches will have adjustments to make without the preseason scrimmages. Some teams had three scrimmages in previous years — on top of the regular allotment of July passing scrimmages — with the final serving as a dress rehearsal. Trimble has played a Jamboree game at Athens for a number of years, as both teams tune up for the season.
Teams will likely practice against each other for a month before taking the field for the first time in the opener against another opponent.
However, teams should be used to the unexpected by this point after dealing with cancelations in the spring season, and modified workouts all summer.